Tag : Ancient ruins of Zimbabwe

Khami Ruins…

The ruins are very close to Bulawayo; an easy drive through the Western Suburbs and industrial sites. Well kept, the paths neatly cut with good signage, makes Khami a great place to spend an afternoon.


I’ve posted this pic first, because its the most impressive facade and the wall most people know at Khami.


I love the way the builders just included the rocks in the wall!


A slightly different view of the wall and right up above this section on the left, is this:


Thought to be built by the Portuguese, this cross was reconstructed in 1939, so it could have been any shape. The pic (below) shows the rock with the cross on it.


I’m always fascinated by the inhabitants of the Ruins of Zimbabwe! Wonder what they would tell us from stories passed down! I got sidetracked by this little guy!


He climbs down rocks – head first! Amazing little fella. I followed him around the rock until eventually he got sick of me and disappeared into a crevice.


This is a close up of a section of the steps – those holes must have held poles – but holding what up? Again, as at Great Zimbabwe, that mortar above the rocks is pretty hard wearing and its an aggregate, I’m told, almost as hard as cement. Perhaps large sections of the ruins were once plastered with this? Who knows?


This pic (above) shows those slots in the brick work …perhaps they held up a portico?


Like many of the other ruins in Zim, the walls are pretty thick with wide open doorways.


And they are often constructed in tiers, filled in with soil…


Would you believe when the settlers arrived, they built a dam – right over the top of this site????


As you can see, the wall has collapsed in several places, and unless the dam empties, it will be pretty hard to repair.


These two pics were taken from the “outlook point.”


Old Gwanda Rd…

Old Gwanda RdThis view is from where we parked our car on our way to Gulabughwe Cave on the old Gwanda Rd – unlike most of the other caves with lots of ancient art, this one is not a fearsome climb! Its only about 20m off the road, and up a gentle slope. Gulabughwe CaveThis is (above) the entrance to the cave and the one below shows the strange ‘ship’ with the head of a giraffe and a tail like a scorpion and pictures of animals and people and half animal/people on its back! Gulabughwe Cave

On the Zambezi River

On the Zambezi RiverSunrise on the Zambezi (above)

On the Zambezi River

On the Zambezi RiverA little later the colours change to deep blue, indigo and brilliant green.

On the Zambezi RiverThese two pics (above and below) are taken of the Zambian side of the Zambezi. Fishermen; women collecting water, children playing.

On the Zambezi River

The Zambezi is very low at the moment and the people who live along the banks take advantage of the dropping water levels to plant crops, right up to the water’s edge.

On the Zambezi River

Fish Eagle…

Early August found us on the Zambezi, our client 40km from Musuna Island. We were asked to find water for the cook at Musuna, at his rural home up in the hills. Not an easy task when the surrounding area is 170m lower!

Neither of us are great fishermen, but we decided to give it a go, since we were on the Zambezi. We headed off, and tethering at a bream fishing spot, I saw this guy sitting in the tree directly overhead.Fish EagleThe man manning the boat, threw in the bream bait, then threw some chunks of bait out for the tiger fish and this glorious bird swooped down and picked it out of the water, right in front of the boat! Fish EagleSo of course, I had to ask the boatman to try it again so I could capture it with my cameraP1090739

Warthog waterhole…

This warthog was clearly nervous! He ran into the hole for a very short time, popped his head out  – dashed away before returning at a run! WarthogIts very dry in Hwange National Park this year. I dont know which animal dug this waterhole, but it was pretty deep! He didnt feel comfortable in the hole where he couldnt see us!  WarthogEventually, he decided that discretion was better than valour and ran off…Warthog


This pic was taken driving back from a place called Hogo Plains in the Somabhula area of the Midlands. It was pretty dark when I took this photo – I’d already switched on my lights!

Hogo Plains

Intrigued by the name Somabhula, I found various derivations of the name: that it was the name of a local Chief (I heard his name was Somnambula.)

I also came across this: shamaburo, referring to a renowned elephant hunter of this name;  shama “wonder at” and buro – “the sharp stick used in a game pit”; alternatively, buru, corruption of the English word bull.

Who knows. What I DO know about Somabhula is that its flat, flat flat…except for this mountain range that sticks out of the flat plain!

SomabhulaIncidentally, we found water at Hogo Plains…lots and lots of lovely water!



Called Balla Balla in pre-Independence days, Mbalabala has a few of the Matopos-like boulder/outcrops…(often called “Dwala” in the local language isNdebele) dotted about…

MbalabalaThe area we were working in is communal land, commonly called “makaya” or “homes.” People from this area are offered a place to grow their maize, graze their cattle and build their home, either by a local chief or the District Administrator.

MbalabalaWe were there to site a borehole for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Since a site wasn’t found immediately, and another survey was required, I decided to climb higher to get a better view…up here this hill is called Tshakambeba. (Not sure on the spelling on there!)


I stopped and took photos all the way up the hill. Hey – I need to breathe!


First stop was this lovely shady tree and flat rock to lie on!


The view facing north…Mbalabala


Half way up – I spied this tree…


It’s more of a  bush, although you cant really see that from this pic – only about two metre tall. The hills around Esigodini are clear on this photo, although seen from a different angle than usual.


Its a little difficult, crab walking along the rock surface



I made it to the top and the other side is an awful lot steeper than the one I climbed!


That road you can see down there comes out right at Mbalabla.


I’m pretty scared of heights, so I didn’t go any closer to the edge than this…


Going down isn’t that much easier than going up…esp when you have to stumble over these kinds of loose rocks. Very strange shaped rocks too – almost like salad bowls and meat platters on a giants’ lunch table!

Nalatale Ruins

Nalatale Ruins

Nalatale Ruins

This is the only hill taller than the one on which Nalatale is built.

Take a look at this view…

Nalatale Ruins

Nalatale Ruins are in Shangani. I hadn’t been before and couldn’t really understand why they were built there – until I slogged up that hill…I could see for miles and miles.

Nalatale RuinsBoth images, below and above are (sort of) looking southOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABelow is a picture of one of the walls, side on –

Nalatale Ruins

The main wall – its been restored at some pointNalatale Ruins

The wall has fallen down in some places, this one, opposite the main wall. I’m told it’s going to be restored soon.Nalatale Ruins

I couldn’t resist taking these flowers – I wondered if the people who occupied these ruins all those years ago also appreciated them. Nalatale Ruins

This view again – I’m not going to say in which direction this is facing – I’m bound to be wrong! Sort of east, I’m guessing!Nalatale Ruins

Close up, you can see the extensive restoration work done on this wall and its good, only the patterns are a bit inconsistent. The colours have also not faded the same! Nalatale RuinsThere was a strange tree up there – Ill make a separate post for that one…